Women reporting on Mike Pence’s Israel trip forced into second-class status behind a fence

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The National / YouTube Pence  s Israel visit appears...
The National / YouTube

Mike Pence visited Israel’s Western Wall on Tuesday, yet despite the fact that women were relegated to second-class status in covering Donald Trump’s visit to the same site last year, Pence did absolutely nothing to ensure that female reporters were able to do their jobs this time.

For Pence’s visit to the wall, the [Western Wall Foundation] set up two platforms side by side straddling the barrier. As Pence prayed on the men’s side, however, it was impossible for the female journalists to see above the cameras and microphones held by their male colleagues.

“It was the same situation during President Trump’s visit to the Western Wall in May 2017,” said the foundation in a statement. “We reject any attempt to divert the discussion from the important and moving visit of the US Vice President and his wife at the Western Wall.”

And if it was the same situation then, you knew this time what the problems would be and had a chance to think about how to treat women as professionals for Pence’s visit. Yet you did not. And, more to the point, he did not insist on behalf of the woman covering his trip or general decency.

Female journalists covering the event disagreed, however, coining the hashtag #pencefence on Twitter.

Tal Schneider, a prominent Israeli journalist, tweeted: “Separation at the Western Wall. The women stuck in isolation and can not photograph, work. Women journalists are second-class citizens. The American women photographers are frantically yelling at the representatives of the White House. #PenceFence

So professional women reporters and photographers cannot do their work covering the vice president of the United States. Then again, that same vice president won’t eat with a woman unless his wife is present, so he’s already shown how comfortable he is limiting women’s opportunities to advance in the name of conservative religion.

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